New York City Top Ten Features, Through a Local’s Eyes, Part I

Fifteen years ago this month, I moved to New York City with a suitcase and a new job and very little else. I have learned and lived a lot during this period. In this post and the next, I am going to highlight the top 10 things about the City, in my point of view, in no particular order.

#1 The spectacle of the urban landscape.  I took my first photography class as a teenager, but my interest in taking pictures really began to take off after moving to the City. There is never a shortage of picture-worthy scenes and moments here. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

Clockwise from top: site-specific dance piece set in an old airplane hanger in Queens; Conservatory Garden, Central Park, site-specific dance on Governor’s Island and Times Square in rain and fog.

#2 Access: If the City becomes too much for you, take advantage of easy travel options In addition to train and bus hubs, there are two international airports in the area. From here, I have traveled to South America and Europe multiple times to explore and deepen interests developed here in the City.  For example, in 2008 and again in 2009 I went to Buenos Aires, first with a group of friends and tango dancers and later to study Spanish.

A painted storefront in Buenos Aires and posing with Carlos Gardel.

#3 Parks: Living in a big city changes your perspective on open spaces, greenery and the like. These places take on a greater significance, and we have some wonderful ones.

Central Park, Washington Square Park and Madison Square Park

#4 Tango/Social Groups: I’ve been part of the Argentine Tango scene here since 2007. Strangely though; I didn’t take to it the first two times I encountered it. I finally became hooked in 2007 thanks to personal connections with my teachers and fellow students.  I cherish the good times and friendships that I have had and built in the local tango community.  TANGO NOT FOR YOU?  There’s a group and a “scene” for just about any social activity you can think of in New York.

Pictures 1 and 2 are Argentine Tango dancers, the third are Salsa dancers.

#5: More than an urban jungle. I learned from the start that it’s not all about skyscrapers here. New York encompasses the usual features of a metropolis, but can also feel like a lively village or a charming suburb if you’re willing to explore its outer limits.

Winter market, Union Square, City College, Flatbush houses, Brighton Beach

I hope you have enjoyed these.  Stay tuned for the second installment!

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